Released this summer, El Grado is a new, ultrapremium, 100 percent agave tequila to arrive on U.S. shelves. Available in the three traditional expressions (and mainly in Texas for now), we got our hands on the reposado for a sample.
Rested for six months in old bourbon barrels, El Grado’s reposado is a pale yellow color and is heavy with the herbal character of the typical 100 percent agave blanco tequila. Give it some time to aerate in the glass and this character mellows out a bit at least, giving way to vanilla and butterscotch, clear after-effects of the charred bourbon barrel time.
Yet there’s something a little vegetal — more than just the agave character — that makes El Grado a bit of a disappointment, primarily on the finish, which ends weak and a little watery, almost like the final stage of a Bloody Mary where the ice has melted completely. Not bad, but not really the way you want to finish a drink — with a whimper instead of a bang.
B / about $50 / elgradospirits.com